FlexinInMyComplexionHow 10-year-old Kheris Rogers is helping Black kids embrace their skin color.
Erika Pollard is the mom of Taylor, 22, and 10-year-old Kheris. Kheris is now a happy 5th grader, but not without a price. Kheris struggled initially in her elementary school years – because of her dark skin tone.
Kids constantly teased Kheris about her darker complexion at school. At the first elementary school Kheris attended, she was one of the only four black girls in her class; this encouraged the tease.
“She started to notice she was different,” Taylor told BuzzFeed News. “She would cry a lot, and talk about how she doesn’t like her skin tone.”
An example Kheris gave was: a couple of years ago, during a class exercise, her teacher asked students to draw themselves; then, she handed Kheris a black crayon. “I’m not that dark… I’m brown,” she replied. By 2nd grade, Erika transferred Kheris to a different school that was more diverse.
Older sis, Taylor said the bullying reduced, but Kheris still came home with negative comments students said about her skin tone; interestingly, the insults were coming from other black students this time. They called her ‘dead roach’ and she’s ‘stayed in the oven for too long.’
“A couple of girls at school would tease her about being skinny and about her skin tone, but it’s weird because it came from people who are black as well,” Taylor said.
Taylor and her mom started feeling helpless. But on a fateful day, after an inspired fashion show and subsequent tweet that went viral, the tide began to turn. In late March of this year, after Taylor helped Kheris get dressed and dolled up for the fashion show, she shared a photo on Twitter with caption: “My sister is only 10, but already royalty,” adding a FlexinInHerComplexion hashtag. #FlexininMyComplexion was born. The tweet went viral. Then, Big sis shared video of Kheris strutting down the aisle with confidence.
People were in love with Kheris’ entire look and attitude.
“She was obsessed with the comments,” Taylor said. “So many people’s comments gave her a positive outlook on her skin. It gave her reassurance.” “I was overwhelmed,” Kheris said. “There were so many comments that they loved my skin and my hair.”
As a reuslt, Taylor helped Kheris run her own Twitter and Instagram accounts; it was filled with photos from their own fashion shoots. Taylor told Buzzfeed that she and their mom closely monitor the account, and do the majority of the posting.
The account @KherisPoppin is now filled with Kheris and Taylor’s photo shoots, along with empowering captions. “My black is beautiful and I’ll never let anyone tell me different.”
picture source: @KherisPoppin (Instagram)